Time for Energy-Efficient Building Codes|
By John Hickey,
Director Energy use in buildings represents the largest source of
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (46.9 percent in 2009). Buildings use
as much as 77 percent of U.S. electricity generated from power plants.
Residential buildings represent a huge portion of this energy use,
with U.S. households consuming more than 36 percent of total electricity
sales in 2010. We need substantial and immediate energy efficiency
improvements in building construction in order to stop global warming
and move to a clean, renewable energy future.
A critical step in implementing large-scale energy
efficiency improvements in buildings is educating cities on the
need to adopt the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
energy-efficient model building code standards. Kansas City currently
follows the 2006 IECC code. If KC adopted the more stringent 2012
IECC code, this would generate a 30% improvement in residential
energy efficiency. This would not only be good for the environment,
but would lower utility bills for consumers and boost jobs in the
expanding green building industry. Improvements in the new IECC
2012 model code include less duct leakage in HVAC distribution systems;
tighter thermal envelopes through stronger home air leaking rate
testing and improved thermal enclosure systems; hot water piping
insulation improvements; increased energy efficient lighting require-ment;
additional information for homeowners (a certificate from energy
efficiency testing) required by builders and design professionals.
If you would like to get involved in this campaign,
please email me at john. firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-628-5333.